The word Cancer has been scaring mankind since forever, the earliest records dated 1600 BC, this disease affects 1 in 3 people. But even now we still find our minds wondering about the meaning of cancer, cure and risk factors for cancer.
Cancer is a word given to a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth that can potentially spread and threaten other tissues. But before we look at what causes cancer, we must first understand what it means.
Because of the genetic abnormalities of its DNA, your body’s cells start behaving erratically and this is what is termed Cancer. A normal cell contains certain genes called tumor suppressor genes that are responsible for the prevention of uncontrollable growth of cells, and is essential for normal metabolism and helps in prevention of formation of cancerous tumors.
A cell also contains genes that are called proto-oncogenes (Onco means cancer). When they get activated, into oncogenes they are responsible for uncontrolled growth, thus causing cancer. The various interactions, cellular mechanisms, are responsible for their fate, whether they’ll remain inactive or become active. Thus these interactions are responsible for cancer.Cancer is a complicated entity and there are various other factors also in play.
The mechanism of replication of DNA and the formation of cellular products can be interrupted and disturbed by mutations which can cause great damage, for example, tumor suppressor gene can become inactive, then there will be no check on the uncontrolled growth of cells. Mutations may even cause activation of oncogene and cells will become continuous invincible dividing cells with no regulation over its growth whatsoever. And ultimately leading to the formation of a tumor which will continue to flourish in absence of regulators and even be more susceptible to mutation.A tumor may even interfere with DNA repair mechanism. A tumor may also have the ability to invade the surrounding tissues and spread, this property, the most dangerous of cancer cells is called malignancy.
As we saw the key player is a mutation in cancer, a question may arise how exactly are these mutations caused. There can be a number of risk factor which may include smoking, tobacco, exposure to asbestos, certain chemicals, and poor diet. As these factors can predispose to cancer they are called carcinogens i.e cancer-causing agents. They affect the cellular DNA and alter them by mutation.
Cancer can also spread by viruses such as HPV, EBV because of the integration of viral genetic material into our DNA when they infect us, this leads to many mutations.
Many of these simultaneous mutations are required to cause cancer.
Now to the biggest challenge: Is cancer curable?
The answer isn’t easy as cancer is an illness of our own malfunctioning body hence difficult to conquer as it leaves the risk of damaging our own healthy cells. Also, cancer manifests differently in each person because of the environmental, genetic, and habitual differences. We still have a lot of procedures and medicines aiming at the elimination of cancer cells, that include drugs that cut off blood supply of tumor cells, surgical removal of the tumor, and changing DNA of immune system to fight with the tumor cells.
Doctors are doing their best in the aiding you to fight this disease, with the help of advancing science and technology with most medical research dedicated to finding cure and remedy of cancer.
With these measures, it has been possible to increase the comfort of cancer patients and cure them. But it’s also our responsibility to cut off the unhealthy lifestyle choices like alcohol and smoking and enjoy life to fullest.
Here we will discuss about some of the major Cancer types. Its possible remedies, solutions and symptoms and more.